Americans are hugely passionate about playing and watching sports. Whether it’s supporting their local college football team or screaming at the television during the Super Bowl, sport is what brings the American community together. Over the last 20 years, sporting television figures have increased dramatically with the continuous major advancements in modern technology. You can now stream a live game of basketball on your phone or iPad whilst out for a run!
Both the NBA Finals and the Super Bowl make it into the list of 5 annual biggest sporting events and 4 of the biggest TV rights deals globally are for American sports.
With it’s own range of sports, and culture around games we thought we’d take a look at which are the 10 most popular sports in America.
With an average of 5 million Americans tuning in to the Major tournaments in 2017, the golf fanbase is forever growing. It cannot be denied that Tiger Woods took the game to a whole new level during the 1990’s and 00’s. However his injuries and controversies nearly brought the the game to new low’s over recent years. 5 of the top 10 players in the world are all Americans which impacts the viewing figures for most Sundays in the bigger tournaments in golf. With all that said, the game is in a great state in the United States with new emerging talent always coming through which makes the game healthier for years to come. Golf sits number 10 on our list of the most popular sports in America.
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9. Mixed Martial Arts
A relatively new sport that has burst onto the global scene is that of mixed martial arts. The UFC has grown from strength to strength over the last decade producing some of the best fighters ever. MMA has become one of the most fastest growing sports in the America of late, with more and more youngster taking up the sport from an early age. With the likes of Conor McGregor breaking multiple attendance records and pay-per-view records alike, it is evident how popular the sport has become. In 2016, the UFC was bought for $4bn which was the biggest sale in the history of sports.
8. Motorsport Racing
Leading the way for motorsport racing in America is the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 with NASCAR being the most popular brand in motorsport racing in America. However in 2006, NASCAR topped 20 million viewers for the Daytona 500 but since then there’s being a dramatic loss of 45% of it’s audience. Many say it’s the evolution of the smartphone that isn’t attracting the attendances that it once had. With all this being said, motorsport racing is still among the most popular sports in America.
With the likes of John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert and Billie Jean King helping capture the imagination of the American public, tennis in America received huge attention and grew massively in the 70’s and 80’s. More recently in the days of Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras is what helped peak the popularity of tennis in the country. Of late, there is now not near as much famous Americans making the top 100 rankings in the mens events but Venus and Serena are still performing extremely well in the women’s. The US Open every year gathers large crowds and tennis lovers all across the globe and tennis is deservedly placed number 7 of the most popular sports in America.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – the most famous line in boxing. Mohammad Ali, the greatest boxer ever was indeed American. Ali was gifted in what he did in the ring. His rivals with Joe Frazier made the sport of boxing even more popular as both fighters were American. The 1980’s you had legend like Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns all leading the way in the middleweight division. In modern day boxing, it was Mayweather who kept on breaking PPV records, he made boxing more valuable than it ever was and it still remains to this day a very popular sport in America.
The most popular sport in the world but only number 5 in America is soccer. Loved by many across the globe, soccer is only beginning to grow it’s popularity in America. The MLS is expanding each year, the likes of David Beckham helped the MLS grow and now he has is very on sports franchise in Miami. The 2014 World Cup seen the USA team reach the knock-out stage of the tournament which attracting thousands of new footballing fans in America to the sport.
4. Ice Hockey
Loved by many across the United States and Canada is Ice Hockey. It’s tremendous engaging play with hits, punches and falls makes it an extremely popularity sport in America. With many of the best players in the NHL being from Canada, the sport is still hugely popular right across North America.
Probably the most famous American pass-time sport there is. You could argue it’s America’s most beloved sport. Baseball and the MLB is very popular in America with teams of all ages playing the sport. The New York Yankees are arguably the most popular team in all of baseball and the most followed team in the United States.
College basketball and NBA are two things American’s adore. The majority of NBA stars are all previous American college students. With cult heroes in the game like Michael Jordan, the NBA grew to staggering new heights in his tenure. Nowadays the NBA stars are the highest paid athletes in the entire world! The NBA has huge stars that have a massive influence in the games popularity, the children growing up today can look up to stars like Lebron James or Steph Curry. With that said, attendances are at a record high across the entire league, making basketball the second most popular sport in America.
1. American Football
Whether you are from America or not, we all know the popularity of American Football with Americans. It is a sport that some may people may not understand if you are not from the country but in America it is played from grass routes up with every kid wanting to someday play in the NFL. The Super Bowl is easily the most anticipated game in America, it gathers friends and families for a night of entertainment. The halftime show alone is even more anticipated than the game. Over 100 million Americans tune into the Super Bowl each year, making it not only one of the most popular sports in America but one of the most popular sports in the entire world.
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